PGCA local business feature: Riverside Sports Bar By Devin Lavelle
The Pocket Greenhaven Community Association’s featured business is Riverside Sports Bar, join us as we get to know its owner and manager Jay Jugoz: Devin: Hey Jay, glad we were finally able to sit down and chat. My wife and I have enjoyed many a burger and football game here over the last couple years. The bourbon glazed burger is my personal favorite and the fries that come with it are a uniquely tasty treat. And, of course, it all tastes better served alongside a local craft beer, speaking of which, that New Helvetia Citra or Bust is calling my name. What is your favorite thing on the menu? Jay: The bourbon burger is my favorite too. It’s been our flagship since the day we opened. I had a personal hand with the recipe. Devin: I guess that explains why you like it so much. And great job! What makes this place special in your mind? Jay: The community is very unique. We’ve just got good people, I’ve grown up in the Pocket in-and-out my entire life, the vibe is different than any other location. We’re not a traditional res-
taurant or a bar either, we’re somewhere in between. Devin: That’s fantastic, great food but also a fun place to spend an afternoon. I’m looking forward to spending the afternoon of March 9th here, shaving my head and raising money for a good cause. Looks like several folks are going to give me a run for my money as top fundraiser this year. What should we expect at the event his year?
Jay: We’re really going for a much more vibrant atmosphere. After bringing in $7,500 last year, we’re looking to break $10,000. It will be less formal, we just want everyone to have a really great time. We will have a number of items on the menu where the proceeds will go to the fundraiser, including some great Irish fare. Readers should keep an eye out for Forest Vance’s next fundraising
workout, get fit while supporting a great cause! Devin: So this is your eighth year participating in St. Baldrick’s, which funds potentially lifesaving research to fight childhood cancer. It’s undeniably a great charity, but what got you started and why does the cause mean so much to you? Jay: A lot of my family members have had cancer. My mom is fighting stage four cancer right now, anoth-
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er friend was just diagnosed. It has been hard for me and my family dealing with all of that. But even then, we can explain why adults get cancer, but we don’t understand why children get cancer. Some kids even have cancer at birth. I have a daughter, I cannot even imagine what other parents have gone through, how hard it must be. Devin: I feel the same way with my two boys, we’re lucky to have someone so committed in our community. Folks who are interested in participating or donating can go to: https://www.stbaldricks. org/events/RiversideSportsBar2019. And that’s not the only thing, you donated an awesome spread to our Pride of the Pocket celebration last year. You have been open for business almost two years now. What has the experience been like? Jay: It’s been a constant day-in, day-out challenge, but one that I’ve been extremely grateful for. One of the most fun things about running this business is having customers and community with such a wide variety of personalities. But that brings the challenges of putting together an atmosphere that works for everyone and ensure that we all have good time together. Devin: What was your background before starting Riverside Sports Bar? Jay: Full-time bartender, part-time athlete. I was at the Wrangler Bar. It’s a regular down home country bar in Elk Grove. I was also a server at De Vere’s downtown. I really have tried to recreate the vibe. As different as they are, they both share a fun relaxed atmosphere, but bringing a little downtown into our neighborhood. I started running Spartan five years ago when I learned that my mom see PGCA page 12 Valley Community Newspapers, Inc.